For a court reporter, extreme speed and accuracy are simply part of the job description. For reference, the average person types between 38 and 40 words per minute, and professional typists tend to achieve upwards of 65-75 wpm. However, these speeds are in terms of a standard keyboard. Court reporters train on stenotype machines, and the minimum speed required for certification by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) is 225 wpm. That said, what about the maximum speeds a court reporter has reached? How fast is the world’s fastest court reporter?
NCRA member Mark Kislingbury of Houston, Texas is the Guinness World Records title holder for the Fastest Court Reporter in the World. Kislingbury achieved 360 wpm with 97.23% accuracy. That’s insanely fast. We doubt that he’s ever had to work that quickly in the courtroom.
Apart from the Guinness World Record, the NCRA holds a National Speed Contest and a National Realtime Contest. The latest winner of the Speed Contest (2016) was Jeffrey Weigel with 98.588% accuracy. The latest winner of the Realtime Contest (2016) was Deanna Boenau with 99.489% accuracy. Pretty impressive scores.
The Speed Contest has been around since 1909; it is a tradition almost as old as the Association itself. The contest serves not just to stir competition, but to inspire current and future court reporters and to encourage all reporters to hone their abilities. Court reporting is a skill that requires continued education and advancement. To be the best requires hard work and constant improvement. It’s exciting to be a part of such an industry.